Monday, August 22, 2011

The Library Progresses

After weeks of bones work - repairing or replacing systems and walls and gutting 5 full baths - we're approaching the beautifying stage. All the baths are tiled and cabinets installed and we just await marble and fixtures (pictures coming as soon as the marble is in). The master is in Carrara marble with a dark grey slate floor. The floor is in 12"x12" tiles and we've had them set as a brick pattern, which, though a little detail, gives a very pretty result and is one of the best decisions we've made.

If you don't think trim matters, I beg you to see the results thus far. The rooms look significantly larger, and it lends a grandeur that brings this house out of the 1960s. Today we're panelling the library (see photo) and hopefully we prove brave enough to paint it Flint by Benjamin Moore in order to set off the lovely hand-rubbed brass sconces.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


It's been a busy few weeks of tearing out bathrooms and an entire basement, and framing in a bathroom, powder room and two closets. Thankfully, we budgeted for the basement ceiling to be replaced because it turns out that the former resident cat found it entirely unnecessary to go to the bathroom outside. Poor Luke!

Above is the mirror for the powder room and I'll order sconces today. The walls will be an inky grey-blue. Luke is going to frame in the counter and I'll have Carrara marble installed and attach an unpleated skirt in a white and grey patterned linen.

The photos show the library with the powder room framed and sheet rocked and the master before and after the addition of a bath and closet.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A New House

June saw the purchase of a new house and work has now begun in earnest. The new house is significantly bigger, in a pricier area of town. It's been well-maintained and the bones are very solid, so there's fewer demoralizing projects than in the last house. Nevertheless, sometime around week two is the most difficult in the remodeling process. All decisions are due and everything to be torn out is now sitting in the dumpster whilst the house sits in dust. It's not a pretty site/sight.

Our primary projects to update and beautify this 1960s well-cared for, but aesthetically ignored house include:
  • converting the casual family room and guest bath into a ground-floor master suite,
  • new moulding throughout the main floor and paneling the library,
  • new baths throughout,
  • updating the kitchen,
  • gutting and redoing the basement (removing pressed board walls, carpet, etc.),
  • building a deck for proper entertaining, and
  • replacing the 1960s wrought iron columns on the front exterior with traditional wooden columns.
We see little of Luke and lots of interiors shops these days. One recent delight is the Circa Lighting (dining fixture above) store in Atlanta ( Their products are amazing and their staff were wonderful with our children! I also found some long desired linen in a "not sure if it's grey, purple or brown" nubby hounds tooth weave. It was on clearance at Lewis & Sheron for $11 a yard instead of $45!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Here we go again

After months of searching, we've finally found another house to work on and we expect to close on June 30th and begin work on the 1st of July. I am so excited to begin work and not spend our entire days searching online and driving by sketchy houses. In the meanwhile, here are a few (rather poor quality!) photos of our house.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Back Online

After months of only occasional internet service, house and garden projects and a move with toddlers, this site will finally be revitalized and you can see some of the end - or nearly end - results. Over the next few days, I'll be updating this site room-by-room with pictures as well as information on purchased items.

Here's a photo of the master bedroom, minus the valance. The color is Benjamin Moore's Seapearl and the trim is BM White Dove.This wall color is one of our favorite things about the house and is very satisfying color on which to build. Both cool and warm colors look lovely with it.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fabric Findings

I've had great luck with fabric for this house. For Jessica's benefit, the blue and white linen is Fioretto and you can order it online at Lewis and Sheron ( for $29.98. If, however, you live in Atlanta, I'd recommend visiting their store on the Westside and checking out their remnant section. I found Fioretto for $5 a yard because the last three or so yards on a bolt is considered a remnant. So if you're looking to make table toppers, throw pillows or valances (very in right now) you might just find a steal.

While Restoration Hardware now mainly markets itself as a company featuring big brown and tan blobs, they still have quite a few beautiful pieces. I found lovely striped linen from Lewis and Sheron but it was $40 a yard and I needed 14 curtain panels each measuring about 3 yards. But at the Restoration Outlet up 400 I found striped linen drapes for between $28 - $55. I saved over $1000. I lined the drapes myself, which was a pain, but it was probably easier than sewing them all from scratch.

The last success was at Joann's Fabrics. They have quite a few linens in the apparel fabric section and they are about 1/3 to 1/4 the price of regular linen. I found one I liked and received a further 10% off because I bought the whole bolt and therefore the last of the bolt. It was about $5 a yard all told.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Kitchen Color Scheme

I've waffled on what seems like a daring scheme. I was reading an interview with an interior designer recently and she spoke of how designing was a process of trial and error which was to be continued until you found the right combination. Well most of us don't have the luxury of time or finances to take her advice and we certainly don't with this house. My dilemma with this kitchen is three-fold. First, we were able to save the existing granite countertop, but it is brown. It's not what I would chose and I have to make an extra effort to keep things clean and sharp. Secondly, the entire living area is open, so whatever I chose in the kitchen is plainly visible and part of the look in both the dining room and the living room. Lastly, my idea, as you'll soon see, runs into a bit of a kink with the construction of the cabinets around the refridgerator. See the lovely picture to the right that Robyn so kindly provided? Similarly, my original idea was to paint the lower cabinets Benjamin Moore's "Flint" and the uppers my white trim color, but I've been a bit scared and have since thought I'd tone down my gray to something much lighter and paint all the cabinets that color. But since the painters have painted "Flint" around the fireplace, I'm again in love with the color. So I'm back to plan A, but would appreciate your feedback. I've been scouring magazines and the web for photos with a similar color scheme, but can only find it in kitchens with shelving uppers, not full cabinets as we have. Do you have a photo you could contribute to enlighten me? And now to my biggest difficulty with this idea. As you can only somewhat see from the photo of the kitchen, the cabinets wrap around the fridge and become uppers, blending the otherwise neat delineation between upper and lower. I think my only option is to have Luke trim the side fridge panel so that it has an upper and lower panel and paint them accordingly. It will be quite a stark contrast that is not tempered by brown granite like the rest of the kitchen, but I could do a grouping of prints on the upper panel to soften the look a bit.

The floors were stained over the weekend and the carpet went in upstairs and it's all coming together quite well (pictures to follow soon). Perhaps now that clean-up has begun we can convince Oliver to move into the house as he very firmly only wants to live somewhere that's "REALLY, REALLY, REALLY CLEAN". (Imagine that in a very American accent with practically no letters but "r"...."rrrreee" basically.)

This blog is a bit of a mess currently, so bear with me as I make changes to the look, content, etc. Blogs are not yet my forte.